Tag Archives: breathing

Your Illusionary Past – Garret Kramer

This article is incredible. Taken from: http://garretkramer.com

Can your behavior become habitual? Yes. Can a habitual behavior originate from your past? Definitely. If you are struggling now, should you look to your past as the reason why you feel the way you feel, and for the cure? In my opinion, not for a second.

Indeed, the self-help world strongly disagrees. Virtually all therapists, life coaches, and counselors believe, and have been trained to believe, that conquering former traumas is the key to overcoming current difficulties. One famous self-help professional recently insisted, “The key to finding the truth is to go back to the past, to those haunting times, and resolving former traumas.” Oh boy, where do I begin?

Let’s try simplicity. If people delve into their past in order to explain or fix their current troubles, then they seek answers in the same misinformation that created the troubles in the first place. Or as Sydney Banks once said, “Going back to a troubled past is like putting your hand in a burning fire, pulling it out because it hurt, and then saying, ‘I think I’ll put my hand back in again’.”

The past no longer exists. Why do so many of us look to the past to explain our present troubles?

In short, the past is merely a memory carried through time, a thought. And like all thoughts, the past is not real. So if you attempt to solve your problems in this illusion, you’ll pretty much spin your wheels. As a personal example, for years I couldn’t figure out why at times I lamented my childhood, poor me; yet at other times, I relished it, lucky me. Same childhood, so why did I look at it in such dissimilar ways?

Then, one day I realized that my perception of my past was solely the result of the quality of my thinking and state of mind—which are always changing. Thus, it made no sense to look to my childhood as a concrete circumstance that had the ability to bring me down.

In other words, if I thought about my past one day and it made me miserable, and I thought about my past another day and it made me smile, it had to be something inside of me (my thinking) that was causing my despair or happiness. The past had nothing to do with it.

Your perception of your past is always changing. When you feel down, your past is problematic. When you feel up, your past makes sense.

Now, to be fair, I’m not saying that there are never times when a therapist takes a client back to a former ordeal and the client then finds clarity and feels more at ease. What I’m saying is that when this happens, going back to the past is not the reason. If the client’s thought system and level of consciousness are on the upswing at that moment, he or she will find tranquility no matter what the therapist suggests.

Here’s the bottom line about the past: If it had the ability to lead people to despair, then different individuals who experienced the same traumas would all be suffering now. Plus, your past misfortunes would affect you in the same way at all times. Of course, neither is the case.

To me, the self-help world needs to consider the negative impact of taking a person back to former low states of mind. It energizes and perpetuates suffering. Instead, let’s teach people that they perceive the past from the inside out; that the quality of their thinking and state of mind in the moment create all of their perceptions, including their perceptions of the past. Remember, challenging thoughts about your own life history will occur, but you don’t have to do anything about them—they are illusions—left alone they’ll wither away in no time.


Excellent Points

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

We perceive the world in a particular way and confidently expect it to conform to its appearance. But we fail to recognize that certain aspects of the ‘reality’ that appear to us are nothing but figments of our own imagination. In this confusion a conflict ensues between the world as it is and the world as we believe it to be. And the more we insist on our infallibility, the more frustrated we become as the actual world again and again stubbornly refuses to live up to our expectations.Stephen Batchelor from Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism

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I have shared some of why I love the breathing track so much, and how its changed my life more than I could imagine, but evidently, others have noticed too.

Yesterday my boyfriend and his mother were talking, and said I seem the happiest and most peaceful I have been in my whole life. The reason I think the breathing track is so effective is it touches my core issues. I spent time in 12 step programs, CBT, therapy and other groups. I feel the focus of these were on the symptoms, why I drank or why I had severe GAD. The track deals with the cause. It heals parts of me that nothing else worked for. No person, kind words or behavoral change worked as profoundly as the track. The acceptance and surrender practiced with the breathing track, touches all other parts of my life. I can let things flow, and in turn since I am not trying to control every detail through fear, things are falling into place better than ever imagined.

I also find I have immense gratitude for the little things, I went food shopping last night, and loved it. The fact that I get to go food shopping. This is no longer an anxiety riddled chore. Its enjoyable.

Oh one other thing – I always considered myself an impatient person. Well, Marty & I were talking today and impatience is the symptom. The cause is doubt and fear. That if something is left alone for a certain amount of time, something bad will happen (like my childhood) these realizations are so comforting. I thought relinquishing control was terrifiying, and in fact it is reassuring to the fact that I am not and never was ‘crazy’. Thanks for reading!

C PTSD - A Way Out

I have shared some of why I love the breathing track so much, and how its changed my life more than I could imagine, but evidently, others have noticed too.

Yesterday my boyfriend and his mother were talking, and said I seem the happiest and most peaceful I have been in my whole life. The reason I think the breathing track is so effective is it touches my core issues. I spent time in 12 step programs, CBT, therapy and other groups. I feel the focus of these were on the symptoms, why I drank or why I had severe GAD. The track deals with the cause. It heals parts of me that nothing else worked for. No person, kind words or behavoral change worked as profoundly as the track. The acceptance and surrender practiced with the breathing track, touches all other parts of my life. I can let things…

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Daily Om: Stronger than you know

Often we get anxiety for no reason as we are almost always stronger and more capable than we believe ourselves to be.

Our capacity to cope successfully with life’s challenges far outstrips our capacity to feel nervousness. Yet in the weeks, days, and hours leading up to an event that we believe will test our limits, we can become nervous. While we may have previously regarded ourselves as equal to the trials that lie ahead, we reach a point at which they near and our anxiety begins to mount. We then become increasingly worked up, until the moment of truth arrives and we discover that our worry was all for nothing. We are almost always stronger and more capable than we believe ourselves to be. But anxiety is not rational in nature, which means that in most cases we cannot work through it using logic as our only tool. Reason can help us recognize the relative futility of unwarranted worry but, more often than not, we will find more comfort in patterns of thought and activity that redirect our attention to practical or engaging matters.
Most of us find it remarkably difficult to focus on two distinct thoughts or emotions at once, and we can use this natural human limitation to our advantage when trying to stay centered in the period leading up to a potentially tricky experience. When we concentrate on something unrelated to our worry—such as deep breathing, visualizations of success, or aerobic exercise—anxiety dissipates naturally. Mindfulness is also useful as it provides us with a means to ground ourselves in the moment. Our guides can aid us by providing us with a focal point wholly outside of our own sphere.
The intense emotional flare-up you experience just before you are set to challenge yourself is often a mixture of both excitement and fear. When you take steps to eliminate the fear, you can more fully enjoy the excitement. Though you may find it difficult to avoid getting worked up, your awareness of the forces acting on your feelings will help you return to your center and accept that few hurdles you will face will be as high as they at first appear.


Daily OM: Thoughts

Thoughts The Creation Ground of Experience

 

During the day we can monitor our thoughts to see if we are investing our energy where it isn’t useful.
Our thoughts are powerful forces in the creation of our experience of life. You may be able to recall a time when frustration that was based on a misunderstanding completely evaporated when your understanding changed. This is because our interpretation defines our experience, and it can change in an instant. Our only true reality is the present moment, so rather than merely accepting that life is happening to us, we can harness the power of our thoughts to actively create a positive reality. For example, we can choose to appreciate beauty around us rather than focusing on traffic or look for admirable qualities in the people we deal with rather than focusing on the negative. By choosing how to interpret and define each moment with your thoughts, you truly create your reality.
Throughout the day, we can monitor our thoughts to catch ourselves in the middle of investing our energy elsewhere—such as into belief in limitations—and instead pull our focus back to the infinite possibilities of the present. Taking a deep breath will help us center our thoughts on being in our bodies right now. Regular meditation allows us to gain mastery over our minds so that we can still our thoughts to focus on the pureness of being. If we mentally dwell on the past or the future, we may miss the experience of living in the present moment. Setting and visualizing goals is wonderful, but we can bring our thoughts into our current experience by taking steps to create them now.
Our minds are powerful tools that we can harness to create our reality. Through them we move the unformed energy of the universe into form, which gives us direction for our words and actions. Each thought is like a stone dropped into a lake, sending ripples out into our world to affect all they touch. We can choose our focus and how we invest our energy, which gives us the power to design our lives to be whatever we choose in each and every moment.


What works? Finding what works for you.

How do you find what works for you?

This post might be all over the place, so please accept my apology now.

In these recent learning times of clarity, contrast and trying to get to know myself better, I often struggle with not knowing what works and what doesn’t. We are in an information age, overwhelmed with options. If you google any subject at all, I’m almost positive you will get 100’s if not 1000’s of results. So where do you start???

Well, this post for me is about trying to relax, trying to figure out whats right, what to believe, what to read, what to practice, and what to think (or not think).

I think I have come to a conclusion (through much research, and much prayer).

I believe it is a combination of methods, teachers, writings.

How I came to this belief was through prayer.

Let me explain. I have been struggling with anxiety, anxiety attacks, a 1/4 life crisis (if you will), irrational emotions, fears, scared if I am where I am supposed to be, who I am supposed to be with and doing what I am supposed to be doing…which has lead me to quite a bit of fear, apprehension, and lack of self-confidence of where to turn.

So, I got on my knees the other night and prayed to God. I said “God, I know this internal conflict is there to push me, maybe to unrealized potential, but frankly, I really have no idea who to listen to, what to read or where to start, please offer me some of your guidance, or Thy will, not mine be done”.

Now, maybe this is my own fault from being such a ‘scanner’ and looking up every single positive thinker/writer/way to relax I can think of, because God forbid I miss out on something, lol.

Anyway, something shortly after my prayer told me to make a list of ways/things I have found that help me relax, find my calling, get me back in touch with me or whatever, so here it goes:

Expressing emotions – maybe built up, or ones I’ve never felt before, but careful not to get stuck and dwell on them.

Thinking more positive – instead of habitually focusing on the negative of a situation, the vicious circle if you will, waiting for an attack, etc.

Faith in GOD – This is probably the most important one for me. To have faith, trust in something bigger than myself. Have a KNOWING that any situation brought into my life is something I can handle, with God. Especially in times of fear of the unknown.

Accepting my Past – it is what it is. It happened. I am not saying what happened is OK, but accepting that it did happen.

Writing – As a form of releasing, getting some of these thoughts out, this also can be a good tool to keep track of the good things that happen.

Breathing – Practising just focusing on my breathing. In and out; through my abdominal. Clearing my mind.

Gratitude – Not an attitude of lack, but focusing on what is! Even things like the sun rising, the heat in my car on a cold commute in, anything, something 🙂

I.P.B.I.R – “Infinite patience brings immediate results” – Wayne Dyer. This quote, for me is about letting go. Imagine the best version of you, the happiest most content you, how you’d walk, talk, feel if completely content. Now let go of the attachment to demanding that it happen now. It feels good, like it’s already here.

Making Painful Connections – Connecting irrational fears, emotions to either my past, or just simply because I am so used to struggles, I am creating one. It’s partly owning my responsibility and partly so then I may release it, and know peace is coming, peace is here.

Not Comparing – I have to stop measuring my progress, and coping strategies to what works for others. It is completely separate and doesn’t even matter. There is no one standard, no normal, as soon as I catch myself doing this, I switch to gratitude.

Helping others – Passing on knowledge of painful lessons I have had, or even simple tasks. Sometimes just getting out of my own head works wonders.

Asking Myself Questions – It’s sort of like speaking to the little ‘child’ inside of me, who may be scared, maybe she didn’t receive enough love when she was young. Like ‘Why is this scary to you?’ ‘What does it remind you of?’ This often helps me to remember history is NOT repeating itself, and that this event is separate. If an answer does not come to me right away, that’s ok too. Sometimes just acknowledging this is enough for now.

Excercise – This one is important! It’s good for my mind, gets me in the present moment, and greatly reduces stress hormones such as cortisol/adrenaline. It’s like a cleanse for your nervous system, and important to get those toxins out. Even if its yoga, pilates, full on cardio, anything.

Passion/Hobby – For me, my #1 Passion is drag racing. But if I cannot drag race at this moment, and my mind is just going crazy, I will go out to the garage, find something to tinker with, organize or clean. Before long, I am pretty peaceful and forgotten what was even bothering me.

I found, when I asked what works was, quite a few of these examples were being repeated in things I read, people I talked to etc, so I think of those as signs, of what is being repeated to me, they are hints!